University of Minnesota
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Step Up Stories

Sitting in Caribou at a ridiculously early hour this morning, and out of the corner of my eye I noticed a young man reach up to the counter to grab his drink. He had to reach pretty far because he was sitting in a wheelchair. I saw him move over towards the door and paused next to the condiments bar. I thought he needed to modify his coffee or something, but then I noticed some indecision. He looked like he was considering setting his drink down, but hesitating. I realized that he was trying to think of how to open the door and move his wheelchair outside with a coffee in his hand. I stood up from my computer and homework and walked past him to the door. "I can get that for you." I held the door open for him as he moved outside. "Thank you. I really appreciate that." Our "Have a nice day’s!" were simultaneous which made us both smile. Why do people not step up more often!? It makes you feel so good inside to help someone out. I sat back down with a smile on my face and felt like I was ten feet tall. ~Robin Arruza, Senior


Truth be told, I have many offhand examples I could choose that involve cutting people off from consuming too much alcohol. This is because last year I often volunteered to be the sober monitor at nearly all of our Beta events and weekends. This effectively made it my job to monitor everyone’s drinking and deal with any crisis situations that may have arisen during an event. One night, we were having a very normal weekend at the house and there were just a few people in their rooms drinking with their friends. I was monitoring everyone, and a girl eventually asked me to walk her back to her house. She lived in a sorority on campus and so I walked her home in the bitter cold and made sure she was safely inside before making the long trek back to Beta. On my way back, I witnessed an argument between a guy and a girl outside of a house. I was about a block away and I could hear them yelling. The girl was trying to leave and the guy really wasn’t letting her. I watched a few people ahead of me walk by and when the time came for me to walk by I decided to walk up to the two of them and ask if anything was wrong. They guy very aggressively said nothing was wrong and the girl didn’t say anything. I asked again, directing my question at the girl, and she said she was just trying to go home. I asked her where she lived and she said she lived in the same sorority that I had just been to. I told her I had just come from there and I asked her if she wanted me to walk her home. The guy she was with looked livid and I largely ignored him while the girl said she’d love it if I walked her back. I put out my arm and started leading her away and thanked the guy she was with for “looking after her”. He seemed angry and mumbled something like “no problem” and the two of us began our trek back to her house. She told me all about how she had been at a party and that guy was someone she knew who was being creepy and kept trying to get her to have sex with him. She said they had got into an argument and he wasn’t letting her leave the house. She thanked me for stepping in when I did and walking her all the way back. I told her it was no problem and I was happy to help. When we got to her house, I bid her goodnight and, again, began my long trek back home. It was still cold, still long, but this time the streets were a little quieter and I eventually made it back to continue my night of monitoring. ~Connor Schweitzer, Orientation Leader